Food addiction has gotten a lot of attention over the last few years. Some people think that food addiction isn’t a real addiction because we need food to survive, but we see the same brain stimulation with sugar and refined carbohydrates as we see in a cocaine addict. Both substances stimulate the “reward center” in our brain which releases dopamine. Dopamine is the feel good chemical in our brain. It gives us a sense of euphoria and well-being. It also gives us the motivation to engage in pleasurable activities over and over again. In rat studies, when electrodes are placed in this area of their brains, rats will press a lever thousands of times in an hour to stimulate the dopamine response. They will do this without regard to thirst, hunger, or their young. Granted, this is a bit dramatic when we look at food vs. cocaine, but the principles are still the same. We can become obsessed about food, we may lie to others and we feel like we are unable to stop ourselves. Here are some other signs you may be a food addict….
Are you preoccupied with thoughts of food?
Signs of Food Addiction
Do you have certain foods that trigger overeating and find it impossible to stop?
Do you go on diet after diet only to gain weight back?
Do you hide your eating from others?
Do you eat large quantities of food at one time?
Do you eat to escape your feelings?
Have you ever discarded food in the garbage only to retrieve it later?
Have you ever hidden food to ensure you could eat it later when you needed it?
Have you ever stolen food from someone else?
Do you feel guilt and/or shame about your eating?
Do you feel hopeless about your relationship with food?
Are you constantly searching for the “magic bullet” that will take this pain away?
If you notice that you struggle with many or all of these characteristics, you are not alone. Shame hides in the dark. Talk to someone today to reduce your shame and start addressing your food addiction. We can help!